Multiple Group 1 winner Preferment has a great chance to go out a winner in the Group 2 $200,000 Pages Event Equipment Hire P J O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Trainer Chris Waller said that Preferment will be retired after Saturday’s race and he could add another Group 2 win to his record that already boasts four Group 1 wins.
The first of Preferment’s four Group 1 victories came in his three year old season when he won the $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Then as a four year old the son of Zabeel won the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2015 Spring Carnival before collecting back to back Group 1 wins during the 2016 Autumn Carnival in the $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington and in the $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill.
Preferment has been out of the winner’s circle since his victory in the 2016 The BMW but Waller said that things hadn’t gone his way in the last twelve months but his recent work on the tracks has been up to his high standard and is coming off a last start fourth to It’s Somewhat in the Group 2 $358,000 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 6.
“Things just haven’t gone right for him in the past 12 months. He’s still working well,” Waller told racing.com.
A good track at Doomben on Saturday is what Preferment will be looking for after Waller cut short his Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign because of the continuing wet tracks after only two runs at Randwick for a sixth to Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) followed by a tenth to his super star stablemate again in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Hugh Bowman is back on board Preferment who will jump from barrier two in the six horse P J O’Shea Stakes field.
The only other Group 1 winner in the field is the Nick Olive trained Single Gaze who drew barrier three with Kathy O’Hara in the saddle again.
Single Gaze claimed her Group 1 winning trophy during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival when she charged home to take out the $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
The Not A Single Doubt mare’s recent form includes a win three starts back in the Listed $100,000 Tails Stakes (1600m) at Doomben, a second to It’s Somewhat in the A.D. Hollindale Stakes and a sixth to Sense Of Occasion in the Group 1 $650,000 Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 20.
The Helen Page trained Rudy is also coming off a last start run in the Doomben Cup where he finished third and will jump from the outside gate in the six horse P J O’Shea Stakes field with Tim Clark in the saddle again.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir will saddle up High Church who has drawn barrier four for Damian Lane.
The English import has been racing okay in weaker company and was a winner two starts back in the Listed $200,000 Warrnambool Cup (2350m) at Warrnambool on May 4 followed by a second in the Listed $150,000 Port Adelaide Cup (2500m) at Morphettville on May 20.
The locals will be cheering for the Desleigh Forster trained Cylinder Beach who will jump from barrier five with Jim Byrne to ride while Mitch Newman’s three year old Garbhan will be facing his toughest task to date from the inside gate.
Final Field for the P J O’Shea Stakes
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x4540x60x4||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||59kg||115|
|2||0x12117178||CYLINDER BEACH (NZ)||Desleigh Forster||Jim Byrne||5||59kg||104|
|3||2312×49412||HIGH CHURCH (IRE)||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||4||59kg||99|
|4||5474×34353||RUDY||Helen Page||Tim Clark||6||59kg||104|
|5||11Fx703126||SINGLE GAZE||Nick Olive||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3||57kg||108|